October 31, 2019 / 6:35 AM / a month ago

Spain's FCC says cooperating with justice in Panama corruption probe

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish building and infrastructure company FCC said on Thursday that it was fully cooperating with a High Court corruption investigation linked to 82 million euros ($92 million) in payments it allegedly made in Panama.

The case relates to events that took place before the current board came into power and the current board and controlling shareholders have been cooperating with judicial authorities in the case, the company said in a statement.

Spain’s High Court on Wednesday charged FCC with corruption and money laundering in connection with the Panama payments.

The High Court’s investigative judges said FCC paid bribes to obtain metro and hospital contracts in the Central American country between 2010 and 2014.

Documents published by the court showed its investigation centered on allegations that FCC overcharged for steel in construction projects with a consortium including Brazilian company Odebrecht, using the funds it obtained to then pay bribes to officials in Panama.

FCC is now controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who took a 25% stake in 2014 and gained control of the board in 2016.

A spokesman for Slim’s conglomerate Grupo Carso said on Wednesday that the case related to a period before he acquired a stake in the firm.

Reporting by Andrés González; writing by Ashifa Kassam; editing by Ingrid Melander and Jason Neely

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